How to Fix Explorerframe.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

If the System File Checker tool doesn't fix the error, copy the DLL file from a backup folder

Explorerframe.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of the explorerframe DLL file.

In some cases, explorerframe.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure.

Sometimes, these errors occur because of a program used to install or customize Windows themes. In an effort to change Windows settings, it had to manipulate the original explorerframe.dll file, which eventually caused the DLL error.

Explorerframe.dll Errors

explorerframe DLL error message in Windows

There are several ways explorerframe.dll error messages might be phrased, depending on the cause of the problem:

  • Explorerframe.dll Not Found
  • The file explorerframe.dll is missing.
  • This application failed to start because explorerframe.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • Cannot find [PATH]\explorerframe.dll
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: explorerframe.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again.

These error messages might appear while using or installing certain programs, or when Windows starts or shuts down. Noting at what point your error shows up is an important piece of information that will be helpful during troubleshooting.

The error could apply to any program or system that might utilize the file on any of Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows 11, Windows 10Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and Windows 2000.

How to Fix Explorerframe.dll Errors

Follow these steps in the order they're given below to try the more likely fixes first.

Do not download explorerframe.dll from a "DLL download" website. There are many reasons why downloading a DLL file like that is a bad idea. If you need a copy of this file, it's best to obtain it from its original, legitimate source.

  1. Restore explorerframe.dll from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" explorerframe.dll file is that you've mistakenly deleted it.

    If you suspect this, but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you may be able to recover the file with a free file recovery program.

    Start Windows in Safe Mode to complete any of these steps if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the error.

  2. Scan your entire computer for viruses and other malware. Some explorerframe.dll errors could be related to some kind of malware infection on your computer that has damaged the DLL file.

    It's even possible that the explorerframe.dll error you're seeing is related to a hostile program that's masquerading as the file.

  3. Execute the sfc/scannow command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the explorerframe.dll file.

    Fortunately, the explorerframe.dll file is provided by Microsoft in at least some versions of Windows, so the System File Checker tool (the sfc command) should restore it.

    This is the most likely solution. Make every effort you can to complete this step after making sure your computer isn't infected with malware.

  4. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the explorerframe.dll error was caused by a change made to an important file or configuration, and System File Checker didn't help, System Restore should solve the problem.

  5. Reinstall the program that uses the explorerframe.dll file. If the DLL error occurs when you use a particular program, reinstalling the program should replace the file.

    This step is most useful for replacing DLL files that are not supplied by Microsoft, but it could help with your explorerframe.dll problem if this program also provides a copy of the file and the previous troubleshooting ideas weren't successful.

  6. Copy the explorerframe.dll file from a backup folder. Windows should have a backup copy of explorerframe.dll in at least one folder, or two if you're on a 64-bit version of Windows:

    • %windir%\WinSxS\amd64...\explorerframe.dll can be copied to %windir%\SysWOW64\
    • %windir%\WinSxS\x86...\explorerframe.dll can be copied to %windir%\System32\

    Once inside one of those folders, say the "amd64" one, find and copy the DLL file and then paste it into the "SysWOW64" folder. The same is true for the "x86" and System32 folder.

    explorerframe DLL file backup

    A super easy way to find another copy of this file is to search your whole computer for it. Using a file search tool like Everything is really helpful in this case because you need to find the most up-to-date version of this file, which you can do in that program by looking at the version numbers in the various "WinSxS" folders.

  7. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to explorerframe.dll. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file explorerframe.dll is missing" error when you play a 3D video game, try updating the drivers for your video card.

    The explorerframe.dll file may or may not be related to video cards—this was just an example. The key here is to pay very close attention to the context of the error and troubleshoot accordingly.

  8. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if explorerframe.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  9. Install any available Windows updates. Many service packs and other patches replace or update some of the hundreds of Microsoft distributed DLL files on your computer. The explorerframe.dll file could be included in one of those updates.

  10. Repair your installation of Windows. If the individual explorerframe.dll file troubleshooting advice above is unsuccessful, performing a Refresh, Startup Repair, or Repair Installation (depending on your version of Windows) should restore all Windows DLL files to their working versions.

  11. Use a free registry cleaner to repair explorerframe.dll related issues in the registry. A registry cleaner program may be able to help by removing invalid explorerframe.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error.

    We rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners. We've included the option here just in case it turns out to be helpful, in which case you could avoid the more difficult testing and last-resort options below.

  12. Test your memory and then test your hard drive. We've left the majority of hardware troubleshooting to the last step, but your computer's memory and hard drive are relatively easy to test and are the most likely components to cause explorerframe.dll errors as they fail.

    If the hardware fails any of your tests, replace the memory or replace the hard drive as soon as possible.

  13. Perform a clean install of Windows. This will erase everything and install a fresh copy of Windows. If none of the steps above correct the explorerframe.dll error, this should be your next course of action.

    To be clear, all the data on the drive you have Windows installed on will be deleted during this step, so be sure to back up important files if you're able to. Make sure you've made every attempt possible to fix the error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one before you take on a clean installation.

  14. Troubleshoot for an unknown hardware problem if any explorerframe.dll errors persist.

    A clean installation of Windows is a fresh start on the software-side of the troubleshooting. So unfortunately, if that didn't work, your DLL problem must be hardware related.

Need More Help?

If you're not interested in fixing this problem yourself, see How Do I Get My Computer Fixed? for a full list of your support options, plus help with everything along the way like figuring out repair costs, getting your files off, choosing a repair service, and a lot more.

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